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Project context and summary :
In recent years, immune dysfunctions, including auto-immune mechanisms and peripheral inflammation, have been clearly associated with severe neuropsychiatric disorders like bipolar disorders (BD) and schizophrenia (SZ). These findings are supported by an extensive litterature highlighting a higher risk to develop neuropsychiatric disorders in patients suffering from auto-immune diseases and also the presence of low-grade inflammation and abnormal immunoglobulin rates in patients with psychosis. It is now well-established, since the description of paraneoplastic and auto-immune encephalitis, that antibodies targeting self-antigens such as membrane receptors or intracellular proteins could trigger psychiatric symptoms and severe inflammation. Therefore, an in-depth characterisation of circulating auto-antibodies and their clinical and/or biological implications has become a critical issue to stratify specific subgroups of patients with auto-immune psychosis in order to adjust and adapt the treatment and care, and develop novel approaches. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been linked to severe neuropsychiatric disorders by clinical and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In addition to their key roles in neuronal function, nAChRs are also involved in the complex regulation of immuno-inflammatory processes both in the brain and the periphery, making them prime candidates to study the link between inflammation and major psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, nAChRs have already been identified as the target of autoimmune mechanisms leading to the destruction of the neuromuscular junction in the well-described autoimmune disease, myasthenia gravis. Based on these findings, we have started to dissect auto-immune mechanisms against nAChRs involved in SZ and BD. In brief, anti-nAChR auto-antibodies contribute to cognitive dysfunction and psychotic symptoms through peripheral inflammation. Here, our goals are (1) to extend the current knowledge by dissecting the relationship between clinical features and peripheral inflammation (cytokines, chemokines, ...) (2) to stratify patients with anti-nAChR auto-immune psychosis by using cluster analyseRelated team publications :
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